Tag Archives: David Bowie

The Plateau of Mirror

The first day of spring and it still feels like winter. That was to be expected. I mean crocuses aren’t about to erupt alongside tulips and proclaim that they ‘are here!’. I’ve been out and about today which was good. I also sent out more resumes and attempted to reconnect with people I worked with in the 1980’s after seeing something that was posted on Facebook. Juan actually hipped me to it, and not being sure if he told me for me, or for his own sake and went ahead and cast my bread upon the water.

I have just finished dinner and it’s not even 6:00. I figured I was hungry and rather than have a snack to tide me over I should just go ahead and have dinner. It had been about 5 hours since I had last eaten anything so I am sure I did the right thing. And to my surprise Bill came home early. He had an audition so he left work early to attend to that. It was a pleasant surprise to see him walking through the doorway.

I’ve been digging the new David Bowie album, The Next day and I think my favorite song on it at this moment would be Dancing Out In Space. I’m not listening to it now, I am instead listening to some classical music. I’ve been listening to classical music as I make dinner since it’s generally relaxing and there is a lot that I don’t know.

And speaking of not knowing, I had a good talk with Bill about my bloody ignorance. Now some friends think I an intelligent and I sometimes do fit the bill. But there are times where I do not know what the hell I am talking about and wind up being a dick, however inadvertent. An example that I told Bill of was regarding a friend named Rae Guay. Her real name, not making it up. I knew Rae through my roommate William and one night we were hanging out in a pub in midtown Manhattan. A few drinks, a few chemicals and I turned to Rae and said she was vapid, without really knowing what the word meant.

Well Rae knew what the word meant and perhaps she was thinking that she herself was vapid (she really isn’t/wasn’t) but me being a fucked up stupid person that I was and could still be ruined a decent friendship over my mistaken use of a word.

Sure, now I know what vapid means and irony of ironies it could certainly be applied to me. And though I tried to apologize, she wouldn’t have it and I haven’t spoken to her or seen her since that night, which was too bad since she was a fun person to be around. She reminded me of Annette Bening and that’s not so bad, is it? She would not believe that I was stupid as the words fell from my mouth.

The thing that brought up the talk with Bill was that we were watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which we both enjoyed more than we expected to. Sure it’s a bit formulaic but the cast is top notch and they made it enjoyable. The trigger was the use of the word ‘Sodding’ in the movie. A word that I know now means ‘fucking’ as in ‘You sodding arse’ or like ‘You drunken fuck’.

Back in the 1970’s at Christmas time I was sitting at a table, Annemarie about to go out with a friend for the night to a party or what not. Alcohol being consumed before heading out, Irish Coffees or White Russians, Annemarie and her friend (Judy?Audra?) having a laugh at the table, Dad floating around. Not knowing what the word meant, I said to Annemarie that she was a drunken sod.

That prompted a very fast and strong reacquaintance with the back of my father’s hand (in front of Annemarie’s friend- then again it was the 1970’s and child abuse was alright then) who yelled at me to never say that to my sister again.

No explanation, just good old familial violence from dear old drunken dad during the holiday season. I didn’t find out till years later what it actually meant and if I knew what it meant I would never have said it. So I am not as intelligent as people would make me out to be, but then again- at least I know that much.










Dad On Fire

The Next Day

Yesterday was all about rain and wind and I only left the apartment once. Today has been somewhat better and I’ve been out a few times. Listening to the new David Bowie album, The Next Day and I am loving it. It’s good to hear him again and the songs are first rate of course. Presently Where Are We Now is playing and that was the first track that was released. The whole thing is great and listening to it on the iPod has been an adventure. Of course I highly recommend it.

So they’ve got a new pope. Just as ass backwards as the other ones, against same sex marriage, contraception, sex education. This new guy might have been a little too close to the military junta that ruled Argentina, but sighs of relief were heard that it was not a former Nazi.

I ran into my Rasta friend Jesse today. He asked how my job search was going and I answered that it was going too slowly. Jesse has a few kids and he’s freaking out over how they’re all plugged into their smartphones and computers. He wonders what kind of world they will have when they grow up. I wonder about the world I am in now, never mind later on.

We have water again. It was shut off earlier today so repairs could be made on the 140 year old pipes could be fixed or replaced. It was supposed to be back at 4:00 but I think it was worse than was imagined.

Whether they’ll be doing it again tomorrow I couldn’t say. I’m sure they will, though right now they are putting things away, filling up holes and smoking cigars and rolling up hoses while a policeman makes a pizza delivery.

We were notified that the water would be shut off so that helped a bit. I had tremendous difficulty sleeping last night and knew that if I wanted to take a shower this morning I had better do it before they shut the water off. I don’t think I’ve adjusted to moving the clocks ahead an hour on Sunday morning. So when my usual 1:00 bedtime comes up on my watch my body is thinking that it’s midnight.

And also my body clock was really screwed up by the infernal schedule from the last job and I haven’t gotten that back either.

Bill was so nice this morning as he was heading out and all I could do was grumble ‘leave me alone, I’m trying to sleep’. I’ll make it up to him somehow.










I’m Afraid of Americans (V1) (Radio Edit)

It’s David Bowie’s birthday. And Elvis Presley and Shirley Bassey and a whole lot of other people I am sure. But today for me it’s all about David Bowie. I only recently started appreciating Elvis Presley and that is mainly consigned to his Sun Records period. David Bowie has been part of my life for a lot longer. When I was growing up I was more into pop music, Elton and whatever was on the top 40 I guess. Sure the Beatles were around in different variations, mainly as solo acts with the Fab records being historical artifacts by the time I was aware.

The ‘bad’ kids liked David Bowie. Diamond Dogs was the big shocker, at least album cover wise despite the removal of the dog’s bollocks. I being a good boy, or rather a pussy, I stayed away from those kids who were mostly boys, squeezing a breast and copping a feel of girls that I knew most of my life. The girls seemed to allow it, at least on a class trip to the Hayden Planetarium. I guess it was the autumn of 1976 when I really heard David Bowie for the first time and I wasn’t sure if I liked it.

It was Ziggy Stardust, and most of the kids knew it. Hang On To Yourself, Suffragette City and Ziggy. I went to CYO. I didn’t really fit in with my freshman class in high school and missed the kids I went to school with for 9 years. They didn’t seem to miss me and made new friends from their new school. My high school was regional and there was no one I knew from school in my neck of the woods. And David Bowie seemed to reflect my alienation. He didn’t help and showed me how alone I really was.

It was such an unpleasant and lonely evening, seeing my former classmates growing up faster that I was and I didn’t like David Bowie for providing that soundtrack. Only a few weeks later did my sexuality come into bloom and that was a whole other nightmare with a most depressing soundtrack by Elton John, Blue Moves. To be a gay teenager in Bergen County in 1976, going to an all boy Catholic school was no fun at all and I set about constructing a closet that would provide some shelter for a few years that followed.

It was when David Bowie started getting weird to American ears, that was when I started to take interest. My brother gave me a cassette of Young Americans but I only played the first song on side A, Young Americans and the last song on side B, Fame. Oddly enough the tape folded in on itself and those two songs were the only ones playable since everything else wound up being played backwards. I also liked Golden Years and then Bowie went to Berlin and got too weird for most US fans.

I liked Low, and bought Heroes for my brother Brian (and I wound up stealing it from him years later). The first Bowie album I bought for myself was Lodger, the last in the so called Berlin Trilogy along with Low and Heroes. In 1980 I did see David Bowie on Broadway in The Elephant Man. I went with Laszlo Papp and Debbie Robinson from work and we sat in the first row center. At the end of the show, people in the second row behind us gave David roses for which David thanked us, much to the rose purchaser’s dismay.

A few years later I met my good friend Jet Watley who it turned out was quite a Bowie fan from back in those Ziggy days. He also liked T Rex and the other Glitter bands, but David Bowie was it for Jet. Jet slowly got me into Bowie, playing me certain tracks that were overlooked and unheard in the St Francis de Sales auditorium in 1976. So I began to appreciate David Bowie. Jet died a few years after that and I got most of his record collection, including Bowie, T Rex and Jobriath. And they were mainly all washed away by Hurricane Sandy last year.

Years pass, and Bowie is part of my DNA. Everyone I know likes Bowie, I like Bowie. I find myself working at Right Track Recording. I meet big names and the biggest was David Bowie. I was reminded of Karen Lynn Gorney’s character in Saturday Night Fever who worked in a recording studio much like myself. In the movie she is telling Travolta and friends about David Bowie going to her studio, but the lunkheads in Bay Ridge didn’t know who David Bowie was. I made jokes when I started in the studio about being like Karen Lynn Gorney and here I was actually meeting David Bowie.

And David Bowie and I hit it off. He always said hello and one time I recall just sitting there and chatting with him for about a half hour. Then when he left I called my sister to tell her sotto voce that I was just talking to the Thin White Duke. He was great and so nice. He had a promo cassette of the Earthling album and gave it to me, taking it back a few minutes later so he could properly autograph it for me, ‘To John- Best Wishes, David Bowie’. THAT I still have.

Around that time, or rather this time 15 years ago, David Bowie turned 50 and thanks to someone named Darrell Shines I was able to attend the show celebrating his birthday at Madison Square Garden. And David Bowie was phenomenal. It was a great show, guests like Foo Fighters, Robert Smith, Frank Black, Sonic Youth, Billy Corgan and Lou Reed all sang a song or two with David. A week later I met David again at the studio and I could not look at him the same way.

The bloke I was chatting with was David Bowie in a chair, but I had just seen David Bowie on stage, in his element and was blown away. He laughed and shrugged it off when I mentioned that so many people had ripped him off with his stage moves and manners. Obviously it was nothing he hadn’t heard or seen before.

I actually thought David Bowie’s birthday was yesterday. It is today apparently. I caught myself and posted a video about how I had the day’s wrong. Harpy posted a wish that David would record again and I posted that I guess he had retired for good, since no new music came from him in ten years. A couple of hours later, my friend John in Munich posted word of a new Bowie record.

I was taken aback and with some rapid legwork, I confirmed John’s posting. And I also posted all over Facebook, the info, the price of the single ($1.29) and the album ($13.99) available for preordering. I duly preordered. I could have gotten it for free, but opted to throw some money to the Dame. Harpy’s wish came true, a little Christmas miracle.

The song is wistful with a tint of sadness. The video is fascinating and also a bit sad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great but sounds world weary, yet hopeful. It’s only one song I heard so I don’t know what the rest of the album sounds like. I’m posting the video here in case you haven’t heard or seen it yet.

The return of the thin white Duke, throwing darts in lovers eyes.

Cindy Tells Me

It’s brutally cold out. No, really, it is. Last night it started to drop, the temperature that is. I watched Into the Wild last night.

It was directed by Sean Penn and starred Emile Hirsch, Catherine Keener and Hal Holbrook with William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden as the parents. It was very good and a few times I had to rewind it and watch due to being distracted.

I like Emile Hirsch, he was quite good as Cleve Jones in Gus Van Sant’s film, Milk. It has a sad ending though. A few characters in the movie seem to know where Chris/Alexander (played by Emile Hirsch) is going to end up.

Those were quite touching scenes, especially with Hal Holbrook. It’s recommended if you feel like being bummed out, which I try not to be. I wasn’t expecting a laugh riot though, I sort of knew what I was getting myself into.

Though if I didn’t already see Milk, I probably wouldn’t have made it a point to see Into the Wild.

After that I watched the last hour of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on VH1 Classics. Not my favorite Bowie period but he certainly put on a show. I know my brother Frank saw him at Radio City on that tour, and so did Chaz and William Charas as well as my friend Jet.

I know 3 out of 4 left that concert changed beings. For me, David Bowie was way too outré for my simple tastes then. Elton John was the one for me. More accessible, more pop.

On Keith Olbermann is a recap of the year, mainly about Obama. It is Olbermann, so it’s the election basically. I’m still upset with the Rick Warren choice, but that’s merely a bump in the road. A mistake no doubt, and a mistake he wouldn’t have made, or at least change but that ain’t gonna happen.

So he’s not the Superman I had on my t-shirt. I still have hope for him and our country. And like the great Bayard Rustin said, “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” And Bill and I conveyed dignity upon ourselves on Saturday night.

Listening to Obama’s speeches, he is still inspiring. A much better choice than John McCain, that’s for sure.

This morning I woke up late. Too cold to get out of bed. I knew I was going to be late as I puttered about the apartment.

I dressed in layers, which meant a suit and tie with vest. And thermal underwear. I had some rubber soled shoes all ready to go and when I tightened the laces they broke. So I had to find another pair, which weren’t as warm as I had hoped.

My little piggies were freezing when I got to the office at 9:00. No one was in yet, the cold making everyone late.

No bonus this year, no holiday luncheon and that’s fine by me. I’m glad to still have a job.

Still chilly in the apartment right now but it’s getting warmer so I’m not complaining. It would be good if Bill were here, he emits body heat.

I thought I was going to meet Ann Boyles at McSwells tonight, but now it seems like I’ll head out to Glen Ridge, maybe on Friday if that’s alright with them. Ann is supposed to be around until Sunday so that might work out just fine.

Now I have to say hello to Ann Louise Boyles Paterson for bhikkhu and Harpy.

It’s a burden, such a burden, oh what a burden, to be so relied on… That was by Brian Eno.

Telling Lies

Last night Tricky played a show at Irving Plaza. I told Roda about it, and he set about trying to get on the guest list. Yesterday he called and let me know. Unfortunately I had to be in early this morning so I could not go. I told him around noon. I found out a little before that, that one of our subtenants was having a meeting early enough for the need for me to be in and help out.

Roda understood the need to make some dosh, and I wished him a good evening. Around 10:00 I get some texts from Roda. CD info on Tricky’s latest, and the fact he had just taken a consonant or perhaps a vowel. I’m supportive and slightly envious and wish him a good time and an ecstatic trip.

A half hour later I get a phone call, a blast of overloaded digital white noise from Irving Plaza. It lasted 44 seconds before the line went out. Roda did get backstage and spoke with Tricky and mentioned Central Park from a few years ago. (Written as The Ghost in You last month) They wound up hanging out, Roda even going to the after party at a club nearby. Roda didn’t get home until 3:00AM. Yikes.

I went to bed after watching Cotton Hill’s bland speech. I have to say that Sarah Palin’s screeching was more rousing for those republicans. Most attack dogs do command attention after all. But once again I only listened slightly to McCrazy, paid more attention to an early birthday present from Annemarie and Co., John Lennon Rock ‘n’ Roll.

His covers record, which came out in 1975 and the last record before retirement. Of course it has a history. Lawsuits, Morris Levy and Phil Spector and May Pang, John and Apple/Capitol Records, contracts, car crashes, missing tapes. It’s all in there. It did ok, made the top ten in the US charts. It was said that he had run out of material, hence it being a covers album, but at the time it was a fashion to do fifties and sixties songs, like David Bowie did with Pin Ups.

Speaking of the Dame, I watched a YouTube clip of David on the Dick Cavett Show from 1975. Young Americans, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn. I had that as a cassette. Only liked the title song and Fame. Young Americans opened the tape and Fame ended it.

I guess I played those 2 songs so much that the rest of the tape was reverse, leaving me able to only play those two songs. I didn’t much like Bowie then except for those songs. The ‘cool’ kids liked Bowie and they were all smoking pot at age 12. I wasn’t ‘cool’, not for another 8 years.

I starting liking him when he started to lose some popularity with Low. He was getting too far out there and that’s where I got it. Still wasn’t too fond of Ziggy et al. I saw him on Broadway in The Elephant Man though in 1980 I believe.

Had 1st row seats and of course he was mesmerizing. The people behind us gave him flowers at the end of the show and he thought they were from me and my friends and thanked us so graciously.

A lot of years pass and I find myself working at Right Track Recording on west 48th Street. David is one of our clients. He was super nice and extremely personable. Just one of the guys, sitting across from my desk chatting about whatever it was like we were mates. I did feel a little bit like Karen Lynn Gorney from Saturday Night Fever.

Then I saw him a few weeks later at Madison Square Garden. I had never seen Bowie live and of course he was amazing though he shared the stage with Lou Reed, Robert Smith, Billy Corgan and Dave Grohl among others.

It was a birthday celebration with the guests covering a Bowie song and then duets with the Dame. A wonderful evening but not really a David Bowie show I guess. A special event nonetheless.

The next time I saw him at the studio, I had changed my perception of him. He wasn’t David Bowie anymore. After seeing him live, I saw him as DAVID BOWIE. It was an odd thing that I had to get over, since being star struck is a no no in the recording studio world.

He thought enough of me to autograph an advance cassette of the record he was working on, Earthling, which of course is one of my favorite Bowie records. Actually he gave me his copy of the cassette, then took it back saying that he ought to autograph it for me. Awfully nice. Asking for autographs is also frowned upon by the way.

Still have it, in fact if I turn my head, it’s within eyesight. He finished Earthling soon after that. He did ask my opinion since he heard I was a DJ, who would I recommend from the DJ world to remix a track or two? I drew a blank and told him I would get back to him in a few.

I called Rand and asked him since he was wise in the world of remixes. He threw out a few names, Josh Wink and a few others. I went back to David and told him who might be good and he basically didn’t like most of the names. I gave up.

It wasn’t until maybe a month later, did I realize that I could have probably suggested myself. He wasn’t going to ask me, but perhaps thought I might have the edge, the nerve, the cojones to promote myself.
But no, I didn’t.


Sniffy Dame(video pulled by EMI)


As expected, going back to work after such a grand time on Saturday was dreary. The weather was great and I listened to some tracks that I bought for the wedding but never played. Songs like Never Let me Down Again by Depeche Mode and I Got A Man by Positive K. We rapped along to I Got A Man on the way up in a driving rainstorm.

I bought it not only because it’s a funny song, but Lois had written a song called I Got A Man and I initially thought it was the same song. It wasn’t. Lois’ song was just as funny and fitting the occasion perfectly.

The bus ride was fine, sat and talked with Casey. Great guy. Really a chatty guy too and I’m surprised I could keep up despite the fact that I usually don’t talk to anyone in the morning, on the bus. We chatted about death this morning. His wife’s mother as well as my mother. Who knows what the people crowded around us think of our little chats. A few weeks ago it was political, today was death.

We parted ways at the bus terminal, made some loose plan to have drinks with him and his wife at McSwells someday, and I journeyed across town listening to ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie, another song I could have played at the wedding.

Got to the office, right on time and no one else was in the office. I did my drudgery which I don’t mind since they pay me nicely to do such things. People came in in dribs and drabs and soon I was off running to the bank and returning some audio cables that I bought to DJ with which I didn’t use. Luckily I kept the receipt and was able to get a full refund. Yay!

Another bright and sunny day and me trying to find shadows to walk down the street in. The morning passed and I remembered I was going to have lunch with Christina, my assistant from my Wanker Banker days.

She’s been having a bad year, unemployed and made some bad decisions employment-wise leaving her and her son to live with her mother in the Bronx. She showed up around 1:00 and I actually had lunch outside of the office which I rarely do.

We walked over to Second Avenue and decided on pizza which I really don’t eat as much as I used. Bill was going to order Grimaldi’s last night. They make the best pizza in Hoboken, but they were closed for vacation. A few years ago I would have known that.

Christina and I sat and ate and caught up. I told her to email me her resume and I would do my best to clean it up and make it look better. Working at a few staffing agencies helps with the resume game. A little padding here, the right turn of phrase there. It’s a lot like cruising sans sock in the pants.

The afternoon flew by and I was soon listening to Bowie singing Fame with John Lennon on backing vocals while I enjoyed a Padron. Walked through Bryant Park and saw hundreds of people on the edges of the lawn waiting to be able to stake out a spot to watch Lifeboat by Alfred Hitchcock.

Julio and I tried going to the film series there a few years ago but found it too crowded and I was snubbed by a neckbone giving free stuff away from City Search.com so we left with me grumbling. Never tried to catch another film there again.

And why should I? You have to wait there for three hours for the sun to go down so the movie could begin. And I have better things to do with my time.

Like writing this blog.

Yesterday’s clouds

The crotch to car trick

Archeology Today